SAS spotlights work with Ann Taylor, Belk, Hershey and Office Depot Europe at NRF19

Retail and CPG companies rely on AI and advanced analytics from SAS to improve planning and reimagine the customer experience

Consumers have almost endless choices when looking for a chocolate fix or the latest fashion. Retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers must use all available tools to connect with and delight customers in the mall and online. Increasingly, these tools include artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics from SAS, the leader in analytics, to transform customer, pricing and supply chain data into better decisions and healthier margins.

At this year’s National Retail Federation’s Big Show and EXPO, SAS will showcase its work with leading retail and CPG companies, including:


Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA), an American retailer of women's clothing, is the parent company of Ann Inc., operator of Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lou & Grey stores. Ascena also owns the Maurice’s, Justice, Dressbarn, Lane Bryant and Catherine’s brands. With analytics and merchandising software from SAS, Ascena manages and analyzes data from all its stores, brands and channels. This omnichannel analytics approach helps Ascena’s leadership and merchandising team create a localized mix of sizes for each store, to quickly maximize customer satisfaction and reduce markdown prices. 


Founded in 1888, Belk is an American department store chain with nearly 300 stores in 16 states. SAS analytics and AI are driving the company’s digital transformation and boosting its omnichannel efforts. With SAS, Belk delivers the right size and style of merchandise, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and profitability.

Hershey Company

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world. It creates sweets, mints and snacks, including iconic brands Hershey's chocolate, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses and Jolly Rancher.

Office Depot Europe

Boasting a strong brand name and a loyal customer base, Office Depot Europe operates in 14 European countries across three main activities and brands: Viking, Contract, and Retail. Under the prestigious Viking brand, the company is a leading vendor in six product areas: office supplies, printing and document services, paper, computers and printers, business services like facility management, and office furniture. Viking sells directly to more than 1.2 million small and mid-sized firms in 10 European countries through online, mail order and call center channels. The main markets for Viking include Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Contract segment maintains contracts to supply more than 100,000 large business customers and corporations in the main markets in the United Kingdom, Benelux/France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Retail segment sells products under the strong Office Depot brand to more than 600,000 active customers in more than 100 stores and online.

Ascena and Office Depot Europe discuss Big Ideas powered by SAS

Ascena Retail and Office Depot Europe will share their stories during a Big Ideas Session, “How Omnichannel Analytics Creates Perfect Assortments, Prices and Sizes at Scale,” on Monday, Jan. 14, starting at 2:15 p.m. ET, in EXPO Hall Room 5, Level 3 of the Javits Center.

Fifteen minutes can transform your organization

Travel from the supply chain to store shelves on a 15-minute analytics tour in the SAS booth and hear directly from SAS customers about the ways analytics drives their business. For example, Tim Carney, Belk Director of Allocation, will share details about the way his company works with SAS for support with size and pack optimization, localized assortment planning and profitability by size. Tours take place Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at SAS Booth 3637.

See AI in action

Interact with a live computer vision demonstration using SAS IoT, deep learning and event stream processing in the SAS Booth. Visitors will see an IoT-enabled conveyor belt that marries hardware and machine learning to sense product quality, recognize inventory location and mine product attributes, all in real time with analytics on the edge.            

“With hundreds of online and offline customer touchpoints, accurate data management and artificial intelligence is a must-have for all retailers,” said Dan Mitchell, SAS Global Director of Retail and CPG. “Your customers are on the move and demand product availability and timely communications, which is how you maintain trust in your brand.  The only way to keep up with your customer is to apply analytics in real time to predict future outcomes that enhance that lifelong relationship.”

To learn more about how SAS supports omnichannel retailing, download The Real-Time Predictive Commerce Playbook for CMOs, a white paper developed by SAS and Brian Solis from Altimeter Research.

Follow SAS on Twitter at @SASsoftware and @SASRetail. Follow NRF 2019 news at #SASatNRF.

About SAS

SAS is a global leader in data and AI. With SAS software and industry-specific solutions, organizations transform data into trusted decisions. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

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